DIG, Santhal region, Sudarshan Mandal said: “As per the statement of the woman, she was returning with her husband from a village market on Tuesday night when 17 people intercepted her and took her husband hostage before committing the crime.”
The police have registered a case against the 17 accused, which included a person known to the victim.
DIG Mandal along with Dumka superintendent of police (SP) Ambar Lakra visited the village based on the woman’s statement to investigate the matter.
Mandal said a medical test of the 35-year-old woman has been conducted and results are awaited.
“The woman said she could identify only one person. We have detained the accused for interrogation. If his involvement was found in the crime, he would be sent to jail,” he said.
The DIG, who was speaking over phone from the victim’s village, told Hindustan Times: “We are interrogating the villagers regarding the crime. We are investigating the matter meticulously, as the woman is changing her statement. When I was interrogating her in her village, she said there were five persons involved in the crime.”
The woman’s husband said she had gone to her mother’s place to help in paddy harvesting a month back.
According to the Jharkhand police website, an average of five rapes cases were reported every day in the state till July this year, which is higher than 2019 when the average was four. .
The number of cases between 2015 and 2018 remained around 1,000 annually, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
The Opposition BJP has blamed the ruling JMM-led government for rising rape cases in the state.
Former social welfare minister and senior BJP leader Louis Marandi said: “Law and order situation has deteriorated in the state. The rape cases have become frequent in tribal districts. Tribals are not safe under this government.”